8 Worst Reasons to Be Late to Work

Category: Business & Work 40

A good number of us struggle with getting up in the morning to go to work, especially when it’s cold and chilly. When the alarm goes off, we tend to snooze it just to get those extra 5 minutes of sleep and keep doing so until we can’t postpone waking up any longer. It ultimately results in you getting late for work, and although it may sound unprofessional, it is quite common. Recent surveys reveal that at least once a week, nearly 16% of people show up at work late, while 27% of them do the same once a month. It happens to almost everyone at some point.

Your workforce absences and lateness are managed very closely. What determines whether or not you get fired on account of coming late to work is how believable and reasonable your excuse is, and how accommodative your boss is. Some of the most common and seemingly legitimate reasons for being late include heavy traffic, a baby sitter cancelling on you at the last minute, or a family member falling sick. However, other excuses are just downright ridiculous.

The following are some of the worst excuses to be late to work:

1. Alarm Clock Issues

While some people have already programmed themselves to wake up at a particular time to get ready for work, others simply cannot get themselves to do so. They have to have an alarm clock. However, claiming that you are late because your alarm clock failed is not a believable excuse.

2. Traffic

This is one of the most common reasons to be late to work. The excuse may be legitimate, but there are ways to work around it. By the time you started working, you should have first established how accessible the place is.

Take a close look at the traffic on the roads you will be using and the amount of time you will need to get to work on time, even during heavy traffic hours. It simply doesn’t cut it to blame heavy traffic for coming to work late when you know the amount of time you need to make it to work on time.

3. An Animal Causing Traffic

This is one of the most interesting excuses. The shocking thing is, it has actually happened. In one incidence, a zebra came running down the highway, forcing traffic to a standstill. All the same, be careful not to use this excuse, especially if you live in an urban environment that is not close to an animal park or forested area.

4. I Fell Asleep at the Parking Lot

We all have days when we feel completely exhausted, and too worn out to go to work; but, at the end of the day, we still have to. If everyone decided they are too tired to get to the office, nothing would ever get done. It is never a wise idea to say you are late to work because you were so tired that you accidentally fell asleep in the car. You are not more special than your colleagues who managed to get to work on time despite their fatigue.

5. Couldn’t Find My Work Schedule

First, the safest and most sensible thing to do is to prepare everything you need to work the following day before you retire to bed. This minimizes your chances of missing important documents, such as your work schedule. Remember, ‘the dog ate my homework’ phrase we used as kids? Well, be careful not to claim the dog ate your work schedule. No one will believe you, especially in today’s digital era.

6. Too Cold to Work

This is one of the most absurd reasons to be late for work. In cold weather, dress warmly and grab a hot cup of coffee on the way to work. Remember that it’s not only cold for you; others feel it as well. Unless you have a health condition that would make you vulnerable when exposed to cold, avoid this excuse.

7. Wrong Shoes

Imagine telling your boss that you accidentally wore your roommate’s shoes to work and had to go change them and come back. Sounds funny, right? Plus how on earth would one fail to differentiate their own shoes? Either the lights at their house conveniently went out at the time they were wearing their shoes, or perhaps their eyesight is failing.

8. Had to Buy Breakfast in the Morning


Some organizations provide refreshments and meals to their employees mainly to save time, and also to cater to those who may have missed taking breakfast at home in their bid to get to work on time. Telling your superior you were late because you had to buy breakfast and prepare it before leaving is, therefore, a terrible excuse.

To make your reasons for being late to work more convincing, keep them simple and less detailed, and use excuses only when absolutely necessary to avoid being perceived as an unreliable employee.

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